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  • Origination, Transposition and Decolonization: Indian Perspectives on Unity in Mauritius as Basis of the Bandung Conference

    Rajendrakumar Dabee

    Chapter from the book: Dokman F. & Kankindi A. 2023. Beyond the Spirit of Bandung: Philosophies of National Unity: Secular or Religious?.


    Mauritius is a land of many cultures, a pot pourri of cultural and religious practices garnered from different continents, but essentially from Africa and Asia. Slaves and indentured labourers from the former and latter continents respectively, were successively introduced to the island by European colonizers. Both races faced hardships of various kinds at the mercy of their so-called masters. Against the supremacy of the White Man, they had no choice other than to rely on their respective Ethos. What devices, which values and world-views were adopted to face the proselytic onslaughts and economic exploitation by a culture which considered itself superior and viewed others as subaltern and thus deserving of annihilation? This chapter exposes and examines the double-sided struggle led by Indian labourers or Apravasi (immigrants) to the island, bound by their Contract. While on one hand they strove to reconstruct their uprooted beliefs and customs by transposing their ancient homeland and its timeless ethos, on the other they battled relentlessly against proselytic agendas of missionary-colonizers zealous to extend their following. Transposition was accomplished through the correspondence of geographical and topographical features present on the island. Proselytism was curtailed by fostering a communitarian solidarity and seeking refuge in the perennial wisdom of Indian Philosophy, the origins of which go back to primitive ideas of unity in the Vedas. When placed in the context of the Bandung Conference, this battle on double fronts led by the Indian immigrants in Mauritius reveals the significance of that historic moment in 1955. This is because both the battle and the Conference, as this chapter aims to demonstrate, are based on eternal principles embodied in an Indian Ethos.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Dabee, R. 2023. Origination, Transposition and Decolonization: Indian Perspectives on Unity in Mauritius as Basis of the Bandung Conference. In: Dokman F. & Kankindi A (eds.), Beyond the Spirit of Bandung. Nijmegen: Radboud University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.54195/FLRI3273_CH07

    This chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives 4.0 license. Copyright is retained by the author(s)

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    Published on Nov. 30, 2023


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